Sleep: Do we ever get enough?
The mid-day yawns, falling asleep in a favorite chair, grabbing an extra cup of coffee to ward off drowsiness – all are signs we don’t get enough sleep.
“Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. Yet millions of people do not get enough sleep and many suffer from sleep disorders without receiving treatment. In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month,” said Ashtabula County Medical Center Pulmonologist and board-certified Sleep Medicine Specialist Yisa Sunmonu, MD.
As we age, our need for sleep changes. But on average, we need about eight hours of sleep a night. Many people get six hours of sleep or less per day.
“I cannot stress how important sleep is for our bodies and minds. Sleep heals at the cellular level,” Dr. Sunmonu said. “When a person regularly sleeps less than needed, it is chronic sleep deprivation. Mentally, we are more easily agitated or angered; we may suffer depression; and we may forget things easily. Physically, our blood pressure may rise; we may eat more, leading to obesity; and we may suffer cardiovascular disease.”
A bad night’s sleep here or there may not lead to chronic sleep problems. If sleepless nights or constantly feeling run-down is the norm not the exception for you, it may be time to see a sleep-certified specialist. After discussing your sleep history, a sleep study may be needed. Patients who visit ACMC’s Center for Sleep Medicine spend the night in a home bedroom-like setting, while their sleep is monitored by a polysomnographer, who tracks heart rate, oxygen levels, breathing patterns, and the number of times you wake up during the night – all which are tabulated into a sleep score.
After obtaining the sleep score, Dr. Sunmonu said he will recommend appropriate treatment options to improve the quality of your sleep.
“Treatment options vary greatly. Once we have a diagnosis, we tailor treatment options to you. We may start with lifestyle changes such as losing weight, getting more exercise, or making different choices for meals – especially late in the evening. However, the sleep study may reveal that a patient would benefit from a device that improves sleeping posture or night-time breathing. We may also recommend over-the-counter or prescription strength medication to help overcome adverse health problems that affect our sleep,” he said.
The ACMC Center for Sleep Medicine is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and The Joint Commission. For more information about sleep disorder treatment options, visit www.acmcmhealth.org. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sunmonu, call 440-997-6969. For more information about the Center for Sleep Medicine, call 440-997-6744.